Few politicians have hit the national stage and had the positive impact that Senator Rand Paul has had. It can be argued that he rose to prominence faster than even his father did, though it’s clear that much of his success came from being the man who picked up his father’s mantle. In other words, Ron helped make Rand what he is today, both as a person and as an impactful politician.
Over the last few months, I’ve grown to support him for President, but something happened. Donald Trump happened. Paul was one of his biggest targets early on along with Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, and Rick Perry. Two are down and two are out. Paul needs to be the third to drop out for his sake and the sake of the country.
He cannot win. There is no scenario where he places respectably in any of the early states. He’s hemorrhaging money which will come back to hurt his political future, particularly if he’s challenged in the Senate. Moreover, he’s young enough to make his way back into the Presidential campaign arena in 2020 if the Democrats win or in 2024 if the Republicans win. It’s this last point that tells us (and hopefully him) that pushing forward today is doing more damage to his future chances than anything else.
Many nominees from Reagan to Romney have experienced setbacks in their first attempts to get tapped. They pressed for as long as they needed to press until it became apparent they weren’t going to win. That point is now for Paul and he’s not taking the hint.
What’s worse is that he’s attacking Ted Cruz, the fellow conservative who actually has a chance of winning. I wouldn’t feel as bad about Paul staying in and attacking if he was hitting Donald Trump, but he’s not. Those hits are few and far between today. Instead, they’ve taken aim at fellow Senator Cruz. Instead of attacking him, he should drop out and support him the way Lindsey Graham is supporting Jeb Bush.
Paul’s opportunity is not done. It’s done for this cycle, but there will be other opportunities. He’s an incredible Senator and will be able to parlay that into another chance if he doesn’t keep pushing himself to oblivion this year.